Trip is now a Wolf Scout, and the year is off to a great start! To get the rank of Wolf, Cub Scouts complete six required adventures, one elective, complete the Cyber Chip, and complete a pamphlet How to Protect Your Children from Child Abuse: A Parent’s Guide with his family.
It was suggested by one of the other Den leaders that the boys should start the year with an elective. This would allow new Cub Scouts to settle in without being “behind” on the requirements if they started a few weeks after the meetings did.
We started with the Wolf elective Motor Away. The requirements are:
- Do the following:
- Create and fly three different types of paper airplanes. Before launching them, record which one you believe will travel the farthest and what property of the plane leads you to make that prediction.
- Make a paper airplane catapult. Before launching a plane, record how far you believe it will travel and explain what information you used to make this prediction. After you make your prediction, launch the plane and measure how far it flies.
- Make two different boats and sail them. Choose different shapes for your boats.
- Create a car that moves under its own power.
As a den, we discussed the forces at work to make each of the vehicles move (E.g. thrust, lift) and why they stop (E.g. gravity, friction).
The boys made three different paper airplanes, two boats, and a self-propelled car over a couple different meetings. They enjoyed racing them and using the planes for target practice.
The Wolf Scout Handbook gives a rationale for the adventure:
We live in an electronic world. This adventure gives Wolf Scouts the chance to rely on the power in their own bodies by blowing air, throwing planes, or using rubber bands. They will have the chance to explore propulsion in its most basic form. Motor Away, Wolves!
I also realized that to this point most of the boys had never made a paper airplane. They struggled a bit with following the directions and making the folds, but they got it in the end.
A few days later, Trip came out of school with paper airplanes he had made during some free time. A friend of his came out looking dejected. The friend was upset that he didn’t know how to fold paper airplanes. His mother was taken aback and worried that she hadn’t yet made paper airplanes with the boy. I assured her, “We just did this in Cub Scouts!” And, for the boy’s birthday, we gave him The Klutz Book of Paper Airplanes Craft Kit (*Associate Link).